I Love Lucy: New store design aims to create brand loyalty

Lucy teamed up with architecture firm The Rockwell Group to redesign its Burlingame, Calif., store and has plans to redesign the other 57 in the next few years. The new design is intended to create a comfortable shopping experience and reflect the brand’s message.

Lucy Activewear has a message — embrace and enhance the active life that women lead — and the company wants each of its 58 stores to reflect that ethos.

The company is communicating its mantra in a redesign of its Burlingame, Calif. store, said Lucy President Mark Bryden. Bryden said the company soon will revamp all its 57 doors to reflect the updates at the Burlingame location.

Lucy teamed up with architecture firm The Rockwell Group to create a concept that offers a big social space for shoppers, communal tables and benches, modular quick-fit systems and soft canopy lighting in dressing rooms for a relaxing experience.

“The goal is to have the shopping experience, and the way the store looks, to reflect what the Lucy brand should communicate and reflect to the consumers,” Bryden said, which means the store should be welcoming and encourage consumers to choose the brand over competitors.

While the first store undergoing the redesign isn’t quite finished, Bryden said the company has plans to remodel the rest of its stores in a similar fashion, and all stores opening from here on out also will implement the new design. The design, Bryden said, is “bright and luminous and reflects a thoughtfulness and liveliness” about the brand.

After the store opens, the company will make minor tweaks based on customer feedback, and Bryden said the process would connect customers even further to the brand and establish their loyalty.

One of the benefits of the new redesign is that specialty fitness and outdoor retailers who carry the brand will receive materials and information on how to create a similar ambiance in parts of their store that carry the product. This enables the company to reach more consumers than some of their competitors that only have their own branded storefronts and don’t distribute through specialty retailers.

The VF Corporation acquired Lucy Activewear in August 2007 and Bryden said it has allowed the brand to remain true to its message all while having a stronger infrastructure and support system.

“One of the things that VF — which is a company that has 35 really great brands — they’ll come in and really enable with HR policy, IT systems and financial support.”

That’s allowed Lucy to grow and focus on its core mission, he said.

Bryden explained the company has plans to open between 40 to 60 storefronts within the next few years.

“We don’t have stores throughout the entire U.S., so we see the opportunity to bring Lucy to life in lots of markets where it makes sense,” Bryden said.

–Ana Trujillo